**Updated May 2020**
Welcome to our Punta Cana Wedding Checklist! This is a comprehensive list to help you plan the perfect destination wedding in Punta Cana.
Most of the brides that contact us are in the very beginning stages of planning. And they usually feel lost and a little overwhelmed. The majority of them know that they want to get married in the Dominican Republic, but they don’t even know where to start. That’s why I created this Punta Cana Wedding Checklist. It is by far the easiest way I’ve found to plan and organize a destination wedding in Punta Cana – from start to finish.
I’m not saying this checklist is perfect… But I hope it will be useful in planning your destination wedding. I’m constantly updating this post to add the latest details, tips, and advice that you should know about this beautiful yet complicated piece of paradise known as Punta Cana.
So let’s dive right in and start planning the wedding of your dreams!
How to Read This Punta Cana Wedding Checklist
- Read the RED Text and ◊ Bulleted Titles if you want to learn the basics.
- Read the BLACK bullet points, BLUE titles, and every paragraph in between if you want an in-depth explanation of how things work in Punta Cana.
- Keep in mind: this is a long, in-depth checklist. If you don’t have enough time now, you can bookmark this page and come back whenever and as often as you need to.
You Got Engaged… Now What?
Well, this is the first step! Congratulations!! It’s an amazing feeling!! So try to enjoy it while it lasts. You don’t have to rush into wedding planning, but it will definitely help since you’ll still have all the butterflies in your stomach, imagining your perfect wedding day.
The first step is to decide on your destination. You may begin researching other popular spots like Mexico, the Bahamas, or Jamaica. But let’s be honest, Punta Cana is the best! Maybe I’m a little biased because I’ve built my life here… but I have to say, you can’t go wrong choosing Punta Cana. It really is the perfect place for a destination wedding.
12 Months Before Your Wedding in Punta Cana
◊ Set a Budget
- Be realistic. It’s better to establish an estimated range than to decide on an exact amount. And give yourself a little wiggle room here. It’s easy to set a number in your head, but then you might be surprised when you actually start looking at pricing.
- Work out how much you have saved, what you can save in the upcoming months, and how much you can realistically spend. If you’ll have help paying for the wedding (ie. parents, family members, etc.), reach out to these people and discuss how much they’re willing to contribute.
- Prioritize: What parts of the wedding are most important to you? What will you splurge for? What can you skip?
◊ Pick Your Resort and/or Wedding Venue
- Decide where you and your guests will stay and where you want to get married. I absolutely recommend booking an off-resort wedding venue like Huracan Cafe, Jellyfish Restaurant, or Kukua Beach Club, but all-inclusive resorts are great too. Decide which one works best for you.
- If you have the chance, it helps to visit these places in person before making your decision. It’s a great opportunity to check out the space and meet your future wedding coordinator.
All-Inclusive Resorts vs Outside Venues in Punta Cana
When it comes to wedding venues in Punta Cana, the options are endless. From the most pristine beach clubs to the most basic setups, and everything in between. Wedding Venues in Punta Cana are a dream come true! You just have to decide what is right for you.
If you’re looking for the most luxurious venues, places like Caletón Beach Club, Juanillo, Playa Blanca, Punta Espada, La Cana Golf, amongst a few others, are the place for you. These are a LOT more intimate and more beautiful than most resorts, but they a lot more expensive.
If you are looking at Wedding Venues that are more affordable, Kukua Beach Club, Jellyfish Restaurant, and Huracan Cafe are marvelous! I can recommend these any day without even thinking about it. Their weddings turn out amazing every single time!
All-inclusive resorts are a great option too, but not all of them… When brides ask me about the best resorts to get married, I never know what to say… It REALLY depends on the kind of person that you are.
If you don’t mind seeing 5 or 6 weddings next to yours on your wedding day, then they do a fantastic job at Hard Rock Punta Cana. That being said, I’m not that kind of person myself. I like intimate weddings on the beach without a lot of people around. But I understand everyone is different. If you don’t mind getting married at a resort like this, some of the resorts with the most weddings in the area are Hard Rock Punta Cana, Dreams Punta Cana, and Now Larimar, just to name a few.
If you are looking for smaller or different options: Dreams Palm Beach, Paradisus Palma Real, Iberostar Grand, AlSol Luxury Village, AlSol Tiara are some good options to consider.
Do I Need a Wedding Planner?
Yes, but you probably don’t have to hire one yourself. Most resorts and wedding venues will provide a wedding coordinator for your wedding day. If you want to hire an outside professional that you trust, you can do this arrangement with some resorts, while others will have restrictions and/or charge a vendor fee. Make sure that you ask about this before making any kind of payment if you want to use your own professional coordinator.
If you get married at an outside venue and don’t have a designated planner, you can hire anyone you’d like. I would recommend hiring a planner to help you with the details and organizing wedding vendors. At the very least, book a day-of coordinator so that everything runs smoothly, and you don’t have to worry about a thing on your wedding day.
There are a few professionals that I can recommend like Nati Roldan, Bego Celaya, Mayte Marie, and Jennifer Collado.
Alright, let’s get back to our Punta Cana Wedding Checklist!
11 Months before your Wedding in Paradise
◊ Create a Guest-List
- Write down all of the people you plan to invite to your destination wedding. Better yet, create a spreadsheet so you can easily edit your list. Do you want a small wedding with just family? Or are you inviting everyone you know? Chances are it’s not that last one since it’s a destination wedding, but you be the judge.
- Understand that everybody you invite will not be able to travel for your wedding day. Some people won’t have enough money, while others won’t be able to get off work at the time. According to statistics, about 50% of the people that you invite will attend a destination wedding. Other sources mention that about 30 to 40% of your guests will be unable to make the trip. If you want to have 40 people at your wedding, you should invite about 80-100 in total.
◊ Choose a Wedding Date
- Now that you have thought about venues and resorts, set a date and book it. Wait, don’t. I have some things to say about this first…
- Make sure that your most important guests (parents, siblings, etc.) will be able to attend before you set a date.
- Choose wisely, trying to focus on your needs as well as your guests.
- Pick a date based on the time of the year that the weather will be nicest. Consider your budget as prices will change depending on the season.
When is the Best Time to Get Married in Punta Cana?
This is a tricky one… Punta Cana weather is nice pretty much all year round. But there are better times to get married than others.
I think statistics are always better than my own memory, but there are a few things I want to say about this:
The hurricane season in the Dominican Republic lasts from June to November. Although the hurricane season starts in June, you don’t need to avoid a trip to Punta Cana then. It is still beautiful!
June, July, and August are fantastic if you want the ocean to feel like bathwater, and you don’t mind sweating non-stop throughout the day. These are by far the warmest months, and the humidity is intense. We get plenty of weddings during this time, and they are always beautiful despite the heat. The colors of the ocean are the brightest during these months. But there may be more seaweed on the beach depending on the year.
Other great months are March and April when it’s not quite so hot, and the weather tends to be really nice. January and February are a safe bet, but the ocean never gets as warm as you can feel it in the summer.
If you can, I would avoid September and October because it’s our closest thing to a “bad weather” season. That doesn’t mean that there will be bad weather for your wedding day, though. It could be beautiful! If there’s a hurricane passing by (far out in the ocean), you’ll feel the strong winds in September more than ever.
August and December are always a matter of luck… There are lots of sunny days, but also lots of cloudy or windy days too.
I didn’t mention May because I have a strong opinion about May. It’s our busiest month of the year, and it’s also the month with the most rain. It usually rains for an hour every night, and sometimes during the day. There are a lot of weddings that have their receptions indoor because of this.
Let’s go with statistics here and then we’ll get back to your Punta Cana Wedding Checklist. This is how much it rains per month of the year:
10 Months Before Your Wedding in the Caribbean
◊ Book the Professionals Who Are Going to Work on Your Wedding Day
- Hire a wedding officiant. Jehison Cabrera, Rick York, Marcos Parucker, and a few others are easy to get in touch with and do a great job. You don’t always need to hire an officiant because the Wedding Coordinators will do this job, but I would highly recommend it. Some wedding planners are great, and some are pretty bad at this job (mispronouncing English words when they read, rushing through the ceremony due to nerves, etc. etc.). If you want something a little more special, a wedding officiant will do a way better job than the wedding coordinator. As far as officiants, Jehison Cabrera is the person I would hire without hesitation.
- Book a Photographer. Someone you trust and whose portfolio matches what you expect from your wedding day. As a wedding photographer myself, I’d love to capture your wedding day! If you feel like looking into other options, a simple Google search will do the trick. Make sure you read the reviews, both good and bad. We’ve heard some horror stories with photographers in Punta Cana (like everywhere else) and want to help you avoid that.
- Book a Videographer. The difference between photographers and videographers is that most of the time you’ll be interacting with the photographer. The videographer will be recording most actions without a lot of input, in most cases. There are some exceptions and some videographers who like to coordinate the whole wedding. Feel free to hire the one that matches your needs. We offer videography as well, and while our videographer will be absolutely silent throughout the day, he knows exactly what looks best for our Wedding Videos.
- Book a Makeup Artist. This is not mandatory because most resorts offer on-site makeup artists, but my experience tells you that the professionals working outside resorts do a better job. Some great options are Anna Nuet, Magda Riccardi, and Krystie Ann, amongst a few others.
- Book a Wedding DJ. You only need to do this if you want to use your own, or if your venue doesn’t provide one. A professional DJ can make a huge difference when it’s time to get your guests on the dance floor. Some of the best in the area are GCStar, Mannia, Eventos FJ and Friends Events.
- Book a Cake Baker. This is not necessary if you get married at a resort, but it might be if you get married at an outside venue. In Punta Cana there are some great bakers: Ana from Cake Studio Bavaro is our top pick.
When should I book a Photographer for a Destination Wedding?
I’ll say this as simple as possible. As soon as you can. There are a lot of reasons to book your professionals with enough time in advance:
We get bookings a LONG time before the wedding dates happen. If you want good photographers or videographers, chances are they won’t be available a month before your wedding. They might be, but do you really want to take the risk?
We also increase our prices every year. Cameras get more expensive. Computers get more expensive. Taxes are higher, and services improve. We might have started with a basic setup many years ago, but as things improve, they got more expensive. Booking months ahead will save you from price increases as well as doing last-minute bookings for the person who’s available that day.
9 Months Before Your Wedding in the Dominican Republic
◊ Create a Wedding Website
- It’s super easy to set up a wedding website, and it will be so helpful for you and your guests. Plus, there are so many websites that you can use for free! Check out the list of options below:
- WeddingWire Wedding Websites
- The Knot Wedding Websites
- Offbeat Bride
◊ Send out Save the Dates and/or Wedding Invitations
- Let your guests know your wedding date as early as possible so they can start making travel plans.
- Remember to include your wedding website on your Save the Dates.
- Set a date for your guests to RSVP by.
How Far in Advance Should Guests RSVP?
The deadline for your guests depends on your needs. If you need to start booking rooms together because you’re saving money, then ask for an earlier deadline. Most destination wedding couples ask their guests to RSVP at least 2 months before the wedding date. Your guests are responsible for their travel, but you can make their lives easier by giving resort options, links to book, and helping them get discounts.
◊ Start Shopping For Your Wedding Dress!!
- Now comes the fun part!! Dress shopping is a blast, but it’s not always easy.
- Check out local dress shops in your area, which usually offer great deals on bridal attire. And don’t be afraid to look online.
- Choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable.
- Remember the weather in Punta Cana is hot and humid, so try to avoid the big, heavy wedding gowns.
- Decide if you want to wear a veil on your wedding day and shop for those as well.
- You should plan on buying your dress now so you have time to do alterations.
Which Type of Wedding Dress is Best for the Beach?
Unlike Pinterest (and every Princess movie ever) has told you, those big puffy fairytale dresses are not comfortable at all.
If you want to feel comfy and a little bit cooler, wearing lightweight fabrics is the best way to do it. Airy fabrics (like chiffon) are a lot easier to wear on the sand and during your first dance when you need to actually move your feet.
Also, if you are dress shopping you should know that pure white dresses look blueish against the blue sky and blue ocean. A little hint of warm tones will make your wedding photos look a lot better against the turquoise water of Punta Cana. We also wrote a post about choosing the right Wedding Dress for the shape of your body.
Should I Wear a Veil to my Destination Wedding?
As a photographer, I love to photograph brides with long, detailed, flowy veils. The getting ready photos turn out better, and the beach photoshoot looks better as well.
Now being honest… Walking down the aisle and standing on a windy beach trying to read your vows with a veil pulling from your head isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Here are some options: Use a simple veil that is not too long. Putt a long veil on, just for the photoshoot. Or ditch the veil and wear something simpler like a flower crown, jewel headpiece, or a birdcage veil. These options will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed as you say I Do.
6-8 Months Before Your Destination Wedding
◊ Designate your Bridal Party
- Choose your maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, and groomsmen.
- Decide if you’ll have a ring bearer and/or a flower girl.
- You can start shopping for your bridal party’s attire now to get some ideas, or you can wait a couple more months.
How Many Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Should You Have?
Well, this is hard to answer. I don’t know why I even asked this question!
I’ve seen everything from no bridal party at all to a huge bridal party of 24 people. Like everything in life, you should avoid being extreme. You don’t need to have everyone you know in your wedding party. Your wedding photos look a lot better with somewhere between 6 to 12 people in total.
Yes, you can have 30 people in your bridal party or none and you’d still be fine. Just do what makes you happy.
◊ Find Your Accessories
- Start looking for jewelry, shoes, garter, lingerie, accessories, and anything else you may need for your wedding day.
- Don’t forget your groom’s accessories too. You can decide together, or let him make the call. A tie, shoes, socks, cuff links, and a nice watch all make the list of accessories that your groom may need on the wedding day. Check out this list to help prepare for the getting ready.
Where Should I Buy My Jewelry and Wedding Accessories?
If you spent some time online, researching for your wedding, you’ve probably heard about Etsy.
Etsy it’s not the cheapest store you’ll find online, but it definitely has some of the best quality products when it comes to your wedding needs. With Etsy, you know exactly where the products are coming from, and most of the time, you’re supporting a small business instead of a large corporation. That being said, Etsy is more expensive compared to mass-produced items. But it’s so worth it to get good quality, unique items for your wedding day. From the shipping costs to the better materials, you will see a difference!
The other online stores in which you can find great products, accessories, and details for your wedding include Amazon, eBay, and independent shops like WeddingStar or TheWeddingOutlet. But I’d still recommend you use Etsy instead!
If you don’t know what to look for, you can get started with basics like barefoot sandals, a handmade garter, kits for your bridesmaids, a destination wedding set, welcome bags, thank you cards, save the dates, or any other ideas that you can think of.
◊ Create a Gift Registry (if using one)
- A lot of destination wedding couples decide to forgo the gift registry and simply accept their guests’ presence as their gift. But if you want to set up a gift registry, I say go for it!
- Most of the time you can do this directly through your wedding website, which makes it easy for you and for your guests.
- Consider a cash registry instead of gifts if you’re saving up for a honeymoon, new home, or anything else you can think of. Puppy adoption, anyone?
◊ Verify All the Requirements for a Wedding in Punta Cana
- Decide if you’re going to have a legal/civil ceremony or a symbolic ceremony in Punta Cana.
- Most people decide to get married at home, and then perform a symbolic ceremony in the Dominican republic.
- If you’re going to have a symbolic ceremony, research the marriage requirements in your state and file the necessary paperwork before coming to the Dominican Republic. All you’ll need once you get here is your love for one another.
- If you plan to have a civil ceremony, check out the information below and head to this page for full details.
What are the Legal Requirements for my Wedding in Punta Cana?
If you decide to have a legal/civil ceremony instead, the requirements are the following:
- Photocopy of birth certificate + translation in Spanish and legalization
- Single status declaration + translation in Spanish and legalization
- Original divorce decree/widowhood certificate (if applies) + translation in Spanish and legalization
- Photocopy of passports (couple and 2 witnesses – non-relatives)
- Documents to be legalized by the Dominican Embassy / Consulate in your Country (except passports)
- The Couples will bring all the original documents with them to the hotel and those won’t be given back to couples since the Judge will keep them for their records.
- For the USA or a European Countries part of La Hague agreement, your documents must also be Apostilled
Please do not forget to double-check this information with your wedding coordinator as some resorts or venues may ask for something else.
4-6 Months Before Your Wedding Day
You’re getting closer to your special day!! And this is the time when things will really start coming together. You’ll be checking off a lot of boxes on your Punta Cana Wedding Checklist.
◊ Double-check Your Passport’s Expiry Date
- Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your scheduled return date.
- Remind your guests to double-check their passport’s expiry dates as well.
- If you don’t have a passport, now’s the time to apply!
What Do I Need to Visit the Dominican Republic?
Not much! Luckily, almost everyone can visit the DR without any restrictions. All you need is a passport. And depending on where you’re flying from, you’ll also need a Tourist Card which you’ll receive upon arrival to the country. You only have to pay for a Tourist Card at your entrance, which costs 10 US Dollars (and most times this is included in your flight cost). Make sure that your passport is valid, as we’ve had some crazy stories in the past of close family members who couldn’t make the trip because of expired passports or paperwork issues back home.
◊ Book Your Flights
- Make sure you allow enough time to settle into the resort and meet with your wedding planner before the wedding day.
- Most airlines offer group discounts if you book 10 or more people. Make sure to share the group code with your guests.
- Encourage your guests to book their flights now too!
◊ Book Rooms at Your Resort
- Request a block of rooms for your guests so it’s easier for them to book, and their rooms are closer together.
◊ Pick Your Groom’s Clothing
- While it’s not as exciting as choosing your wedding dress, it can still be a thrilling wedding task to choose your groom’s clothing together.
- Choose wedding attire that matches the venue and overall vibe of your wedding.
◊ Start Dress Alterations
- You should already have your wedding dress, and be in the process of getting alterations.
- Don’t leave this to the last minute as it usually takes a few fittings to get it perfectly right.
◊ Pick Your Wedding Party Attire
- If you haven’t done this already, then now’s the time to choose attire for your wedding party!
- Determine your wedding color palette, and then select dresses for your bridesmaids and outfits for your groomsmen.
- Now is also the time to select clothing for your ring bearer and/or flower girls if you have them.
◊ Make Arrangements for Wedding Week Activities.
- Plan some fun activities for you and your guests to do before and/or after the wedding day.
- This could include anything from a Welcome Dinner, to a Catamaran, or a crazy night out. Whatever you want to plan for you and your guests to get the most out of your wedding week.
What Activities Can I Do in Punta Cana?
From parasailing to golfing, and everything in between, the options are endless when it comes to activities in Punta Cana!
What people enjoy the most are activities like party boats after the wedding day, or golfing and fishing for the guys. Punta Cana has a lot to offer, and it all depends on what you are interested in. If you feel like an adventurer, the buggies excursion to Macao beach is a great option. They also take you to El Hoyo Azul (the Blue Hole) which is a beautiful spot to cool off afterward.
Punta Cana boasts some of the most exclusive golf courses in the Caribbean. Corales, La Cana, Punta Espada, Cocotal, Punta Blanca and Hard Rock are some of the options out there. Prices vary a lot and you should find the one that fits your needs.
If you want to dig deeper into this, we wrote a whole post about the best activities in Punta Cana for your wedding week. Otherwise, you can get back to your Punta Cana Wedding Checklist.
◊ Share Ideas With Your Wedding Planner to Create Your Wedding Vision
- This is when your wedding vision can really come to life!
- Work with your wedding planner to discuss themes, color palettes, decor, and details. Make your wedding dreams come true!
- Try to include pictures of what you would like to do and find out if your budget allows this. Pinterest boards can be a great way to do this or get inspiration from our blog.
2-3 Months Before Your Caribbean Wedding
◊ Plan Extra Events
- Now you can take the time to plan your rehearsal dinner, welcome party, or any extra events you had in mind.
- Talk with your wedding coordinator or your resort to make sure everything is all set for your extra wedding events.
Should I Have a Rehearsal Dinner?
As far as I know, this tradition belongs mainly to our brides from the USA or Canada, and this is not a common tradition for most UK families.
Rehearsal dinners are a great opportunity to get both families interacting with each other. This allows them to talk and get to know each other better before the wedding day.
This celebration takes place a night or two before the wedding date, and it’s a great excuse to enjoy some time together as a family. If you are worried about not spending enough time with your guests at your reception, this would be a great opportunity to do that, stress-free.
It’s also a great time to walk through everyone’s role on the wedding day. You’ll let the bridesmaids and groomsmen know who will be walking down the aisle together, and in what order. This will save your crew from any confusion on the wedding day.
Some of our couples decided to include a few shows in their rehearsal dinner instead of doing it at their wedding reception. Some examples are the Fire Show, Cartoonist, Cigar Rollers, amongst a few others. If you want to book any of these shows, Vanesa Enciso from HOTS Productions is a great option.
◊ Pick the Songs For Your Wedding Day
- Create your wedding playlist.
- Choose songs for walking down the aisle, just married, first dances, bouquet toss, garter removal, and a few other events that require a special song. If you don’t feel like choosing, your DJ or MC can help you out.
◊ Confirm Details with Your Vendors
- Now it’s a good time to get in touch with your wedding vendors again to confirm all the last minute details for your wedding day.
- Most vendors will already have a timeline for you to know what to expect leading up to your wedding day, but it’s always good to touch base if you haven’t heard from them or would like to connect.
◊ Prepare Your Seating Chart
- Yes, it’s time for the dreaded seating chart. Thankfully destination weddings have fewer guests than traditional weddings so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time on this. And if you don’t want to make a seating chart, you don’t have to!
Should I Create a Seating Chart?
This is completely optional. Most destination weddings in Punta Cana have a seating chart to show guests where to sit and who to sit with. If you want to give your guests the freedom to choose their own seats, that’s totally fine. You can even put out a funny sign like “We found each other, you have to find a seat” to let guests know they’re on their own.
And what about a sweetheart table? When deciding on the reception arrangements, you should know that not every bride and groom has their own sweetheart table. Some of them decide to sit with their bridal party at a different table, while others plan to sit next to their close families at a round table like everybody else. This is completely optional and you should feel comfortable with your decision. After all, it’s your day.
◊ Buy a Guestbook for Your Wedding Reception
- You might have already found a guestbook on Etsy when you were shopping for wedding accessories and details. If not, this is the time to buy your wedding guestbook. There are so many options
◊ Finalize the Alterations on Your Dress
- Some dresses only require two fittings, but a third may be necessary to get it just right.
- During the final fitting, try on your dress with all of your accessories (veil, jewelry, shoes, etc.).
- Prepare for the waterworks! You look like a bride!!!!
1 Month Before Your Wedding in Punta Cana
◊ Purchase A Gift For Your Fiance
- If you and your fiance are exchanging gifts, this is a good time to purchase something special for your fiance.
- It doesn’t have to be a big, expensive present. A heartfelt gift will mean so much more!
- Common gifts you can buy: Watches, Necklaces, Sport related stuff (for fans only!), Wallet, Cufflinks, Flasks.
- Common ideas you can make: Scrapbooks, love letters, matching tattoos, personalized clothing, poems…
What Should I Give My Fiance For Our Wedding Day?
It’s up to you! To be honest, I’ve seen it all. Most brides buy their man a fancy watch to wear on the wedding day. But you don’t have to be one of them. A few brides have given a little book from their boudoir photoshoot and these always get a better reaction. A perfect moment to photograph! Your groom won’t believe it when he sees you looking so sexy, just for him. That’s a more intimate idea, and it works very well.
If you don’t feel like posing in lingerie for your gift, you can always make him something. Emotional gifts are always a lot better than a simple watch or necklace. If you know that he truly desires something, you can buy that for him. But if not, think of something special that will touch his heart instead of his pocket.
◊ Prepare Your Welcome Bags
- This is another optional item on your Punta Cana Wedding Checklist. It’s a special, extra touch to give your guests upon arrival to the destination.
- You can include things like sunglasses, sunscreen, a towel, alcohol shooters, Advil, or anything else that may come in handy for your guests during their vacation.
◊ Prepare Your Thank You Cards
- You won’t send them out or anything yet, but you can order them now so they’re all ready to send when you return from your trip.
◊ Enjoy Your Bachelorette Party!
- The wedding planning is almost over and you’ve worked so hard! Take some time to celebrate with your girls before you set off to your destination.
- You can wait to have your Bachelorette Party once you get to Punta Cana if you have the time. Just don’t plan it for the night before the wedding if you don’t want to be a hungover bride walking down the aisle.
◊ Prepare a Timeline for Your Wedding Day.
- Your wedding coordinator and photographer will help you craft the perfect timeline for your wedding day.
- Be sure to share your timeline with your other vendors like the makeup artist, officiant, and DJ.
1 Week Before Your Special Day
◊ Do a Hair and Makeup Trial
- You don’t need to do this, but it’s highly recommended.
- Doing a trial will be a great way to see what you’ll look like on your wedding day and decide if any modifications need to be made.
- If it’s not an option, don’t worry! It shouldn’t be a problem since you’re working with professionals and they do weddings every day. Just be sure to talk to them about the style you’re going for on your wedding day.
- Explain clearly what you’re looking for. If you have images, even better. With the language barrier, things can be misunderstood pretty easily, so really take the time to discuss the look you’re going for.
- Trust them to make you look absolutely breathtaking on your wedding day.
◊ Start Packing
- Prepare all your wedding items and make sure that everything fits in your luggage.
- If you have a lot of decor, details, gift bags, etc. you may want to split items up between your guests to help carry it to Punta Cana. This is where your bridal party can really help you out!
- Any extremely important items (the things you absolutely cannot get married without) should be in your carry-on bag.
- If you don’t want to forget anything, take some time to do this step instead of rushing through it the night before your flight. You’ll thank yourself later!
◊ Prepare Payments and Tips
- If you have any outstanding payments with your vendors, prepare your payments now.
- Be sure to get extra bills for tip money.
Should I Tip the Employees Working at my Wedding?
Yes, you should! The answer is pretty simple here, but I’ll explain.
Employees working at resorts make very little money… most of them make less than 10 dollars a day. So their best shot at making a living is from tips. If you have someone working hard to make your day even more special, compensate them. Even if it’s just one dollar, it helps.
Tips for your vendors vary depending on the job and your feelings towards them. We are all professionals that are being paid for our work, and we’re already working extremely hard to make sure you have the best day ever. We won’t work harder if you tip us. But we definitely will be happier.
If you hire resort photographers, videographers, makeup artists or DJs, they are making a very low income. Even if you pay 3,000 USD for their work, most of that money goes to the company and not to the individual doing the work. They only get a –very- small commission out of it. So yes, you should tip them as well.
A Couple Days Before Your Dream Wedding
◊ Have Your Wedding Attire Steamed
- Your wedding dress and your fiance’s clothing are probably wrinkled from the flight so take the time to get them steamed before the wedding day.
- Your wedding coordinator or hotel concierge should be able to help you out with this with no problems.
◊ Meet Your Wedding Planner
- If you haven’t met in person, now you can actually do that! It’s such a great experience to meet the person you’ve been working with for months.
- Finalize all the details for your wedding day.
- This is when you can also do a menu and cake tasting to make sure everything is perfect for your reception.
◊ Inspect Ceremony and Reception Locations
- Take the time to tour the property and find out exactly where you’ll say I Do.
- Hopefully, you won’t need to, but sometimes you can change the locations if there are still available spots for that day.
◊ Get a Manicure and Pedicure
- Yes, we will see your nails in the photos, so make sure they look flawless!
- You can do this before your trip or at a local salon in Punta Cana.
◊ Sleep Well
- I know, this is a tough one. You’ll be so excited and will have so many things running through your mind (and so many fun events planned), but it’s so important to get a good night’s sleep before the wedding day.
What Should I Keep in Mind For My Wedding Day?
Just a couple of simple things…
- Remember to arrange the entrance for your vendors to your Wedding Venue or Resort. Your wedding coordinator should take care of this.
- Designate someone to help you with the dress. Make sure that she’s ready before you are.
- Have someone clean up your room before your photographer and/or videographer get there. It’s not easy to take good pictures if we have to clean up the food from your bed. Some things are fixable in Photoshop, while others are almost impossible to do.
- Have someone clean up your fiance’s room. I can’t stress this enough. Almost every day we go to a room that looks like a mess. Sometimes it’s easy to fix. Sometimes it’s just a mess.
- Keep the rings together. It doesn’t matter in which room, but we need to see them together in order to take pictures of them. You can keep your engagement ring in your hand at all times.
- If you want something to be photographed, make sure that we can see it. It’s always best if you lay out your jewelry and accessories on a table or on the bed. We need to see the things that are hidden in your safe, bag, or luggage. If we can’t see it, there won’t be pictures of it.
- Check out this list for more ways to prepare for your wedding day.
It’s Your Wedding Day in Punta Cana!
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of your Punta Cana Wedding Checklist, and your wedding day is finally here!! All your hard work is about to pay off. Here are a few last minute tips so you’re ready to go on your wedding day!
- Allow plenty of time to get ready (1.5 hours for photos and last minute details is a safe timeframe)
- Don’t forget the rings.
- Keep your flowers in the fridge or in a room with the air conditioning working properly. The heat in Punta Cana shouldn’t affect them before the ceremony.
- Enjoy as much as you can. This day will go fast. Really fast.
- Don’t forget to smile, everybody is watching you (no pressure!)